Despite being told he was wasting his time on a career in music, Matt Zahra has followed his dream and is now a rapper.
The Glendenning resident has more than a decade of experience in sport, having played rugby league and boxing from a young age, but said music and rapping was his true calling.
“I felt like it was the right thing to do,” he said. “I felt like I had more to offer through music in comparison to sport – in terms of my life and my legacy.”
It wasn’t until he was 19 when he decided to turn a new leaf. He said his decision to step away from the physical strain of sports was an easy one.
“As a kid I always loved both sports and rapping, but the choice between the two was an easy one. I love creating new work so it was easy for me to follow my heart and work on my mental attributes,” he said.
“For me, I felt that sport was limited. You don’t get to express yourself the way you do through music. Athletes don’t really get a voice in terms of their beliefs and what they want to say on a large scale.
“With music you can hit those deep nerves and get right to the heart of things through a lyrical message.”
Mr Zahra, aka E Zee, will spit fire as he prepares to perform at Australia’s largest annual high school event, Sydney Pacifica at Liverpool, which promotes education, leadership and the arts and celebrates the country’s cross-cultural diversity.
The 31-year-old is practicing at least three times a week as he prepares to take to the stage among a stellar line-up, including American rapper Lil Eazy-E, son of Eazy-E who performed in the popular American hip-hop group N.W.A.
“It’s pretty exciting to have someone of Lil Eazy-E’s calibre perform after me,” he said. “His dad’s a legend. N.W.A were the pioneers of hip-hop and if anyone can share wisdom with the kids, it’s him.”
3pm-10pm, October 13, Woodward Park, Liverpool. Free.